Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia, er Chiba! Vying more Sushi back in Victoria, BC

Chiba Sushi
2706 Government St
Victoria, BC

Hours:
Mon.-Tue., Thu. 11:30a.m.–2:30p.m.
and 4:30–9:30p.m. (Sat & Sun only)

Phone: (250) 383-9886

ES: For most of my life when challenging Victoria, BC’s crazy 7 point intersection and figuring out which way am I going, I always see Chiba Sushi. The thought of going into this operation crossed my mind and at least that decision is easier to make. This restaurant is cozy and blends a bit of the traditional–dining in a booth (shoes are taken off before entering)–with the modern. The atmosphere is better than that of  a wayfarer station. This place is almost overlooked because of its location. It’s been around for as long as I can remember. It may be older than me!

DK: I was 19 the last time I went to Chiba Sushi. New to town, and a tad naïve. I brought along a co-worker. I hoped it might be a date. She forgot her wallet. Her boyfriend picked her up. It was not a date. Ed, however, showed up with a cash card in hand and promised me his popcorn refill at a movie later. True love comes to those who wait, or popcorn and a friend at least.

Let’s continue to focus on the positive: Chiba makes a number of unique special rolls that are surprisingly satisfying. We sampled four rolls; the Mango and the Phoenix being clear winners. Both options are constructed similarly: something sweet, something tempura, something from the sea and some avocado. A winning flavour combo in both instances.

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[Seattle, WA] Come Sail Away with me at Sushi Kashiba

Sushi Kashiba
86 Pine St #1
Seattle, WA

Phone: (206) 441-8844
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

During the busy holiday weekends in Seattle, my advise is to make reservations if you want to insure getting a seat to dine at Sushi Kashiba. This port city is known for many things, and despite what anyone says about Pike Place Market, it’s home to many secret delights. I’ve known about this particular dining establishment for a while and keep on getting sidetracked when I discover something new. Even though I had a special fund just to dine here, it can get spent fast on other delights.

When considering Chef Kashiba trained under Jiro, a sushi master, I knew I’d be in for a treat.

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Not Quite Kissing the Fish With Ki Sushi in New West

Ki Sushi Restaurant
45 8th Street
New Westminster, BC

Phone: (604) 521-1833
Hours: 11a.m.–9:30p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11a.m.–10p.m.

Even when I’m in a different part of the Lower Mainland, I gravitate to my dietary staple, fish. If only I was in Japan, I’d find most of it bought from tsukiji market, or caught right from the river and cut up for consumption. If only that was the case out in New Westminster, since it’s by the Fraser River.

Ki Sushi is voted as the best sushi restaurant 14 years in a row by some reader’s choice awards. Of course, that means by mostly locals. After travelling far and wide, just where they rank in the bigger leaderboard is not all that high. Their tuna is mid to lower grade in taste; I could tell by the colour. My recall of what I tasted at Sushi Kashiba (Seattle’s very best) and Fūdo’s when compared to this place told me there’s a huge difference and you get what you pay for, especially when concerning tuna. The BC salmon was far better.

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Not Just E:ne for Sake. Raw Food Too?

E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar
Address: 737 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC
Hours: 3PM–12AM
Phone: (778) 433-0363

ES: When it comes to alcoholic beverages, I tend to appreciate sake more than beer. When I heard about this operation opening up in Victoria, BC, my taste buds were titillated. The first thing on my mind was if they carried any of those fruity brews that I see listed in menus whenever I’m in Vancouver dining establishments than anywhere else. Long story short, not all operations are interested in carrying these variations.

As I learned at a sake tasting event a week later, master brewers consider the only good sake is untainted sake. The authentic blends do not include additives. I’m open for experimentation though, including raw food.

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Blowfish Sushi by the PNE & Fright Nights

Blowfish Sushi
2828 E Hastings St #107
Vancouver, BC

Hours: 11:30 a.m to 9:00pm
Phone: (604) 258-7500

I think the closest I will ever get to eating Fugu, the forbidden fish, is at Blowfish Sushi in Vancouver, BC. I was there last month to partake in Fan Expo Vancouver, and to cap my crazy fun-filled weekend, I had to hit the Fright Nights at the PNE.

I was supposed to meet friends there, but when the Drunk in a Graveyard team arrived into town late, my little voice said, it isn’t going to happen. Instead of feeling down, I said screw it and just enjoy this fair myself and met the devil! If I could sample that said fish that is this diner’s namesake, and let my fates go what may and perhaps my body would be found here at this park, adding to the haunted attraction.

Everything I wish Monster Entertainment’s Fear on the Pier back home could do to make Ogden Point a destination for Halloween was done at the PNE. From actors around the park to heavy use of fog machines made for a cool stroll. The creepy clowns got close, and I loved it!

As for the food, the idea of deep-fried avocado is not one I often see and was not aware of the online raves about this place. I knew I needed a snack before taking on carnival fun. The waitress was friendly and patient as I looked over the menu. The ambiance if more of a modern Tokyo type place than traditional.

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Come to Shima for the View, for Sushi by the Sea

Shima Sushi
1218 Wharf St,
Victoria, BC
Phone: (250) 590-7370

When the waitresses at Shima admit Victoria, BC has way too many Japanese restaurants, I have to wonder when some will close up shop out of frustration to get a regular clientele or which operation stands out as the best? I’m sure there’s a list out there which locals has voted on as the best. I can’t say I completely agree either.

This operation has been around since 2010. While I have walked by on many an occasion, the desire to try this place out was limited. The menus on display showed prices were above average and they did not offer anything unique when compared to other operations.

For some reason, James Shaw tagged along. As we both settled in a cozy corner, we both eyed the same item on the menu: a clam miso soup. I had to go for my traditional staples, a sunomono salad (perhaps one of the best I’ve had since the chef did not skimp on the octopus) and a deluxe platter of nigiri. To sum up my buddy’s thoughts on the said soup: you get your money’s worth ($6). Not only are the servers very generous in the serving of this mollusk, but also the aroma had feeling I ordered the wrong starter.

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